John Cleese | Credit: Courtesy

John Cleese will always enjoy an exalted position in our city’s pantheon of current and former residents. In addition to making substantial contributions to the residential real estate sector, Cleese graced our society with then-wife Alyce Faye and raised his daughter Camilla here. Camilla Cleese writes and performs comedy like her father, and will join him on Wednesday, May 25, for a performance at the Granada called An Evening of ‘Exceptional Silliness’ with John Cleese.

Monty Python’s Flying Circus, the absurdist sketch comedy program Cleese created with Graham Chapman, Eric Idle, Terry Jones, Michael Palin, and Terry Gilliam for the BBC between 1969 and 1974, ranks among the most influential television programs of all time. Saturday Night Live, for example, is unimaginable without the Python precedent. Three additional films and many individual side projects secured lasting fame for all the group members, and none more so than Cleese.

In addition to the long-awaited stage musical version of A Fish Called Wanda, Cleese told me he has started writing a stage comedy adaptation of Monty Python’s Life of Brian. Cleese considers the 1979 hit comedy about Brian Cohen, a Jewish-Roman man who must bear with being mistaken for Jesus, to be “the most important thing we ever did.”

At 82, Cleese generates ideas as rapidly as he tweets. One such project, a news documentary on cancel culture, was announced by Channel 4 television last year. Cleese has been offended by how easily other people take offense at comedy in recent years. Here’s hoping that this Granada evening keeps the promise of “exceptional silliness.” For tickets and information, visit or call 899-2222.

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